Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the IPL 2021 match between Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings.

Arshdeep replaces Brar. Pace from both ends now. Faf gets off strike first ball.

CSK 13/0 (3 overs): Shami continues. Faf flicks a short one for a quick single after two dots. Close one! Faf shuffles across the stumps and miserably fails a ramp shot. Shami giving nothing away. Full outside-off and Faf swings and edges to third for just one to keep strike.

CSK 11/0 (2 overs): Harpreet Brar to introduce spin. FOUR! Gaikwad steps out and smashes it over mid-on as Chris Jordan fails to flick it in on time. Single for him at cover to get off strike. Faf runs one on a wide down leg. Just one comes off the next three as Brar comes back strong after a first-ball boundary.

CSK 3/0 (1 over): Single for Gaikwad on first ball as he tucks it away on leg. Faf steals one at short mid-on to open his account. Incisive bowling from Shami as Gaikwad gets a lucky inside edge before getting in on the pads. Decked in short and Gaikwad steps out and gloves to no-man’s land at square leg. Dot to end the over. Tidy from Shami.

Gaikwad takes his guard at the striker’s crease. Mohammad Shami to begin with the new ball. Let’s Play!

All eyes will be on openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis to provide yet another solid start. KL Rahul is leading his men onto the ground.

MS Dhoni drops a hint at the toss

READ: Dhoni on next IPL season: You’ll see me in yellow but whether I’ll play for CSK you never know

Most runs in CSK vs PBKS matches since 2018:

1. Faf du Plessis 335 runs in 6 innings

2. KL Rahul 267 runs in 7 innings

3. MS Dhoni 142 runs in 4 innings

4. Suresh Raina 139 runs in 4 innings

5. Shane Watson 127 runs in 4 innings

IPL 2021 in Dubai:

Matches: 9

Batting first team won:3

Batting second team won: 6

Average first innings score: 152

Highest successful run chase: 166 (PBKS vs KKR)

TOSS UPDATE: PUNJAB KINGS HAVE WON THE TOSS AND ELECTED TO BOWL.

2:55 PM: Five minutes to go for the toss. A must-win game for Punjab. If they lose, they are eliminated. A victory doesn’t guarantee them a passage into the playoffs but they will still have the slimmest of chance.

MATCH PREVIEW

Winning is a lot about momentum. Particularly while entering the climactic phase of a high stakes competition.

After a stupendous run that saw it become the first team to qualify for the playoff, Chennai Super Kings (18 points from 13 matches) has suffered a slump of sorts, going down in its last two games.

Under the circumstances, M.S. Dhoni and his men will attempt to arrest the slump and get back on the highway to glory against Punjab Kings in its last game in Dubai on Thursday.

Punjab Kings (10 from 13) is a team that has discovered ways to lose from winning situations. Set batters have been unable to stay on and finish the job; the side has been consumed by the pressures of the chase.

Punjab Kings not just has to defeat CSK by a huge margin to get its run-rate above that of Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, but also hope both these sides lose their last matches.

Drakes for Curran

CSK has named West Indies’ all-rounder Dominic Drakes as a replacement for all-rounder Sam Curran, ruled out with a lower-back injury. Drakes is a left-handed batsman and left-arm medium-pacer.

Punjab Kings needs to get everything right in this clash. Anil Kumble’s men have shown some promise without getting all the pieces together. Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh and the hard-hitting Shahrukh Khan are all youngsters with talent.

Much focus will be on the in-form openers of both teams — Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis and K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

WHERE TO WATCH IPL 2021 – CHENNAI SUPER KINGS VS PUNJAB KINGS LIVE?

IPL 2021 will be aired Live on Star Sports channels – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD. It will be streamed live on Hotstar.

SQUADS

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N. Jagadeesan (wk), Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, R. Sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, KM Asif, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K. Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishanth

PUNJAB KINGS

KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Shahrukh Khan, Nathan Ellis, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar

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